How To Shoot A Handgun As A Beginner

Over the years, guns have increasingly become a part of most people's lives. The numbers of gun owners are increasing by the day and guns have become a part of everyone's life. Unfortunately, as time passes, people have become more inclined to shooting rather than searching for gun literacy. Individuals now shoot more without any basic knowledge or proper training in gun handling. This has led to the increase of gun violence, particularly in the United States. As a gun owner, you ought to embrace training by performing simple marksmanship to help you achieve the most from your firearm's intrinsic accuracy. Visiting a shooting range for the first time can be downright intimidating and confusing in equal measure. However, this should not deter you from learning some shooting range tips that you should know before using your handgun. Gun shooting classes will enlighten you on gun safety and how to shoot a handgun accurately. 

Steps of How To Shoot a Handgun 

Using a firearm doesn’t mean you are tough or glamorous, as depicted in the movies. As a new gun owner, you ought to understand the different types of guns before settling on one which best suits your needs. Each firearm operates differently and has different handling mechanisms, but this does not mean that the gun does not have a standard way of working. Regardless of your gun type, you can load a bullet into the barrel of your firearm. The barrel is connected to a firing pin, and thus once you pull the trigger, it mechanically sets in motion a chain of events. The firing pin flies forward and strikes an explosive charge which is located in the bullet base.

The explosion will ignite the gunpowder which is tucked inside the bullet and covered in a shell casing. This pressure change will force the bullet out of its casing down the gun barrel and towards the target. With the correct training on how to aim a firearm, you will be able to strike down your target within seconds. Therefore, let us look at some of the tips you need to know on how to shoot a handgun correctly.

Treat each firearm as though it is loaded

When handling a firearm, it is essential to assume that it is fully loaded and point it in a safe direction. Practicing gun shooting is best done while at the range as there are available trainers who will equip you with the necessary skills needed for handling your firearm. Therefore, always have your gun pointed in a downrange direction even if it does not have a magazine and its slide is pulled backward. Never point the gun towards yourself or any other person, whether empty or loaded. There are steps to be performed when your weapon is in a dry fire mode. Dry fire refers to the instance when the gun is not loaded. Therefore, you need to clear the weapon by removing its magazine and not the clip. You can set it down as the gun is in its downrange position, rack it back and forth on the slide a few times. To make sure that no round has remained in the gun chamber. You can then lock the slide to leave the ejection port open. At this point, you should be able to see the light coming through the magazine and confirm that it is indeed empty. Proceed and remove all the rounds of ammunition from the magazine and re-insert the magazine back into your handgun. You can then send the gun slide forward and dry fire it.

Use a dominant hand grip

As a shooter, it is advisable to use your dominant hand to grip the gun. To shoot effectively, you will need to use both of your hands as it offers more stability to the weapon at hand, thus increasing the accuracy of your target shot. To have a two-handed grip, you should start by holding the gun down using your dominant hand and then place it on the higher part of the grip. Glocks and pistols are made to curve inward at the back and top of the grip. This means the webbing of your dominant hand between your index finger and your thumb should meet at some point. At this position, you are assured of a greater security degree when firing your weapon. You should wrap the last three fingers; these are the ring, pinky, and middle fingers, around the grip base and underneath the gun's trigger guard. Ensure that you maintain them as close as possible and avoid overlapping them. You should also hold the gun firmly and avoid using the death grip. Your index finger should be kept extended and against the gun frame. This is the bottom part of your gun that remains still when you fire a shot. Unless you are prepared to fire and have aimed at your target, your trigger should not be anywhere close to the trigger. Also, as you plan to shoot, ensure you wrap your thumb around the other gun side and hold it near the top on the other side frame.

If you are a first-time shooter, the two-hand grip will feel unnatural, but as you continue to practice aiming at a target, you will get used to it. The importance of using your two hands on the gun is to fill up all the open spaces around your grip due to the gun's recoil, configured to move everything in the direction with the least resistance. Therefore, to be in the game, you need to stay in control. Each side of the gun should mirror each other, and thus if you feel you need to use one hand to make your shot, then shooting is not for you.

Assume the right shooting position

As you prepare to take the shot, assume the correct shooting position by having your feet shoulder at widths apart and knees slightly bent. You should avoid flexing your leg muscles or locking out the knees but use the lower half of the body to establish a firm and grounded base. Squaring out your shoulders, move and lean forward slightly using your torso.  You can then draw the gun from its holster using your dominant hand and grip your firearm using the method discussed earlier. While at it, keep your trigger finger away from the trigger or along with the gun frame. The trigger finger should remain in a ready position while holding the gun as close as possible to your body pointed towards the target.

Determine the dominant eye

If you wish to shoot at a  target that is some yards away, you will have to rely on your dominant eye. Many times new shooters assume that their dominant eye matches their dominant arm. The truth is they are not always on the same side. To figure out which of your eyes is dominant, you will need to extend your arm and hold your index finger right below your target object placed at a distance and look at it with both of your eyes. Proceed to close one eye. You will know your non-dominant eye if the object appears to move from the original position it was in when you had both eyes opened. As for the dominant eye, the object retains its original position as it was with your eyes opened. While you are ready to shoot from this position, extend your arms outwards and use your dominant eye to aim at the target. Do not at any given point lock your hands. Maintain a slight bent on your elbows while your shoulders remain square to your target. You should also avoid tilting your body sideways, as this will affect your accuracy when shooting. As you look down from the gun top, keep the dominant eye in perfect alignment to the front sight. This will ensure that you can see through the gun's rear-notched sight. From this position, you should see some three squares with an aligned top bringing in light from all the sides of the front sight. The front sight has to lie squarely on the target regardless of its distance.

To trigger pull

Pulling the trigger requires some excellent trigger management. The process of properly firing a gun with utmost precision and then preparing yourself to take the next shot is much more of the modern-day well-modulated press. As you pull the trigger, ensure the distal phalanx comes into contact with the whole trigger. When you look down at the top of your gun, a part of the trigger finger closest to the knuckle should be parallel as possible to your firearm’s frame. It is essential to have it this way because if your trigger finger is off the center of the trigger guard, the gun will end up pushing either to the right or left, thus distorting your accuracy. Therefore, if you wish to have a consistent shooting, avoid jerking your trigger finger and uphold the position principles for maximum accuracy.

Dry firing

Once you have a clear vision of the target, you will note some movements on the front sight. This should not worry you as familiarity and enough practice will help you develop muscle memory for decreasing the sight’s movement. It is essential to focus on your technique and focus rather than anticipating the shot. If you anticipate the shot, it means you have dropped your front sight just to see where the rounds of bullets land. This may result in inaccurate shots. As you are on a dry fire mode, the sound of the click is what should surprise you. Rack the gun slide back again and practice dry firing regularly until you get comfortable with it before graduating to live rounds. 

Live firing

Once you are ready to shoot with live bullets, put on proper eye and ear protection gear when training. Always remember the handgun safety tips of having the gun in a downrange and safe direction. Load the magazine of your firearm and then load it to the gun and rack the slide. Proceed to hold the weapon using the method described earlier on and keep off the trigger until you are correctly positioned and aimed correctly at the target. Maintain your dominant eye on the front sight, take some deep breaths and hold firmly on the gun. Press on the trigger firmly and let the sound of the discharging round of ammunition take you by surprise. Repeat this process and fire through all the rounds in the magazine without worrying yourself as to where the bullets land. If you are using a Glock or any other semi-automatic handgun, at some point, you will feel a slight click as the trigger moves forward once you have fired the rounds. This sound is a result of the resetting firing pin. The sound is mainly at the ⅔ forward position, and once you determine where this point is, you will no longer have to send your trigger further away in the forward direction. Determining this point will ensure that you always stay on target and have a shorter trigger travel in your next shots.

Have regular practice

Spend enough time during practice to develop a consistent and proper shooting technique. Once you finish all the rounds, the slide’s action will notify you that you can proceed to make the gun safe by removing the gun’s magazine as it is pointed downrange. Rack the slide for a while, then lock the slide back and use your finger to check the magazine and the chamber as well. Continue practicing all of the above techniques while leaving out none of them. Remember that factors such as aiming, target acquisition, trigger reset, trigger pull, and not anticipating your shots play a major role in achieving utmost precision with your shots. With all this information, you can now visit a gun range and show them that you know how to make your shots. Instructions from your trainers will sharpen your practical skills further.

How To Improve Pistol Accuracy

As a shooter, you must have had an experience with one or more pistols that have failed to shoot accurately on several occasions. Shooting with your pistol accurately can motivate you to handle your pistol more often. Once you find out the reasons as to why your gun isn't behaving well as expected, you can proceed to fix it. The primary reason why your weapon cannot shoot accurately could be because there is less space that you can hold on to. Pistols are smaller than most large guns, such as rifles. The shorter sighting radius can also impact the accuracy of your shooting. Larger guns have a longer sighting radius, making it easier to align the rear sight and front sight. This means that larger guns have a lower chance of user error during the aiming process than pistols, whose probability of user error is relatively high. The other cause of the inaccuracy is on the trigger. Some shooters can pull the trigger either to the right or the left, forgetting that the most crucial factor to consider while pulling the trigger is by using the whole finger to pull it back. By not pulling the trigger accurately, your hand grip will pull the shot one way or another, thus distorting the pistol's accuracy. When using a rifle, you can either use a bipod rest or your shoulder to ensure the gun is kept on the target. This means that you can steady your weapon before taking a shot, and thus the trigger is not affected. While using a pistol, its movement can be affected directly by the pressure applied by your finger on the trigger. Below are ways on how to improve pistol accuracy;-

Work on the Trigger Finger

To improve your pistol accuracy, you need to work on isolating your trigger finger.  Trigger isolation means running the trigger finger without moving the wrist or the other fingers. This process of trigger finger isolation is called the sympathetic movement. Sympathetic movement can easily throw off the alignment of the rear sight and the front sight, thus, you can miss a huge-sized target. To reduce the rate of sympathetic movement, ensure that you check the speed at which your hand is moving and the force you are exerting on the pistol. Practice holding your gun with medium grip pressure to avoid involving your wrist and the other fingers in the trigger pulling process. 

Align the Front Sight and the Rear Sight

As a shooter, if you wish to achieve the most accurate shots, your sights need to be perfectly aligned both on the horizontal and the vertical equilibrium.  During the old days, lasers and red dots were the in-thing. This means that shooters relied on some good old-fashioned sights. Knowing how to use both the red dot and the new modern iron sights is a good skill that every shooter should have. Technology may fail, and thus, iron sights, when paired with some proper shooting fundamentals, will become reliable to you. The general function of sight design is the same across the board, even though sight styles differ in all handguns. If you have a post mounted over the rear aperture and the muzzle near the opposite end, it will make the rear aperture look like a tiny letter V or some football goal post. Regardless of what you see or how it looks, ensure that you line up your rear sight evenly to the front sight. This alignment ensures that you won't miss your target on the left or right on its horizontal alignment. You should also fix the top of your front sight, even with each post's top part. This vertical alignment will ensure that your muzzle is pointed straight to the target. If the top of these sights do not line up, you will miss your impact point as the bullet will miss the mark either high or below your mark. Therefore, improve the accuracy of your pistol today by adequately aligning your sights.

Improve the sight picture 

When you look down on your gun towards the target while using properly aligned sights, you should be able to spot a slightly fuzzy mark on your target. This means that your front sight is sharp and in perfect focus while the rear sight is blurry. As a shooter, to maintain an accurate focus on the front sight when fixing the alignment issues, it is crucial to remember that you will have utmost precision if the two sights are in harmony. The faster you fix this alignment, the better for you as a shooter. Practice will improve your level of understanding at which points the sights align, thus helping improve your consistency in gun handling and shooting.

 Work on Your Firing Position

To improve the gun accuracy, you need to find the correct firing position. Hold your firearm and check your body posture as you take a shot. If one of your heels is behind the other, your body will not have an excellent lateral balance as you will tend to move sideways. Similarly, if your feet are in a parallel squared position, you will not achieve an excellent back-to-front balance. Practice regularly if you wish to achieve a proper body alignment. The feet shoulder-width should be apart while your knees are in a slightly bent posture. To balance your gun, keep your pelvis at a 45-degree angle to your left rear leg. 

Use a Proper Grip

One of the rules of making a shot is never to squeeze hard. A tight grip will hyperflex your fingers resulting in the firearm's general movement. A proper grip will ensure that the isometric tension between your two hands will hold your gun in place. Therefore, to properly absorb the gun’s recoil, you need to maintain your firearm correctly on your hand grip.  A gun's recoil can affect the accuracy of the subsequent shots; therefore, manufacturers have continued to improve the pistol by reducing its level of recoil. 

The Best Pistol Shooting Tips 

Gun owners have often confessed that the most difficult weapons to use for accurate shots are handguns out of the various existing types of firearms. The main reason for this is because there is no stock anchored to your shoulder when using a pistol like you would have when using a shotgun or a rifle. This means you have a lot less space to hold on to, thus making it difficult to maintain the stability of your handgun. Aiming is also inherently less accurate and challenging due to the distance between your pistol's rear and front sights. There are some basic mechanics that determine the accuracy of a gun. If you properly aim your pistol, correctly pull the trigger, and steadily hold the weapon to reduce the recoil effect, the bullet will automatically find your target. The most challenging part is getting these mechanics right. To make a better shot, you need some tips that will help make you an experienced shooter. Therefore, let us look at the best pistol shooting tips that will improve your shooting experience if you follow through.  These tips will help you master some of the basic mechanics needed for shooting a gun accurately. They include taking a stable and strong stance, grasping your gun firmly while your hand is high on the top grip, properly using the front sight, and pulling your trigger straight back in a fluid and smooth motion.

First, you need to take a stance and maintain a good lateral balance before taking your shot. Your left leg and right leg should provide you with maximum stability as you spread them out wide apart. Your leg placements will rely on whether you are a left-handed or a right-handed person and whether you will shoot two-handed or one-handed. You should have your shoulders leaned slightly forward and maintain a good back balance with the left foot opposite the dominant hand just a step past your other foot.  This stable stance or firing-ready position will make it easy for you to keep your pistol on the target. The other tip is that you should not fear to grasp on your pistol firmly; it won't get hurt. Holding it this way will help control the kick in a rapid-fire. If you have a tighter grip on your semi-automatic handgun. You will also find it easier to pull the trigger, which will help you control the gun’s recoil. If you fail to hold the gun properly, you may get injured during recoil, and thus, you may end up reacting to pain and risk dropping your loaded and cocked gun while the safety is off. The other tip to consider is to lock your eyes onto the front sight as it is the primary pistol aiming indicator. Before pulling your trigger, you can use snap caps or dummy rounds if you are dry firing. Finally, always ensure you pull your trigger smoothly and in a controlled manner. The smooth movement will prevent the pistol from going off the target. If you follow through with all these tips and adhere to your manual safety, you will adopt the correct technique with regular practice.

Gun Shooting Technics

One of the best gun shooting technics is having a realistic mind frame. You do not have to pressure yourself in becoming a top competitor; instead, you should relax and enjoy shooting for the sake of getting some quality trigger time. It would be best to have a 3-gun practice that lets you polish your shooting, reloading, target control, target acquisition and gun handling. The second technique is the video game approach. This video game enables you to move from stage to stage, blasting targets from different positions. These games often help one to sharpen their accuracy skills and speed. Finding the correct firearm is also another technique you should have. Finding firearms that are of quality and durable can dent your pockets in terms of costs but will serve you for a longer time, and they also shoot better. Your ammunition also needs to be of decent quality to improve your shooting accuracy. The last technique is studying top shooters, how they practice and gather information on what other thing they did to be at the top of their shooting game.

The Right Way of Holding a Pistol

As a beginner, you ought to learn the fundamentals of gun safety, shooting principles and generally the right way of holding a pistol. There are four main basic principles. One of them is that you need to always consider the firearm as loaded and keep your index finger from the trigger. Second, it would be best to point your firearm elsewhere, whether it is holstered or when using it. Third, you need to be fully aware of your backstop to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Finally, it would be best if you were counter intuitive, and it will make sense while looking at your target as you prepare to counter the attack. Techniques and mechanics of gun handling are similar to situational awareness.  First, you must take an introductory gun course with an experienced shooter to guide you as they teach you how to handle a handgun properly. To safeguard yourself and those around you, it is vital to use your pistol accurately, as the law dictates that any negligent gun acts are punishable by law. As a beginner, you need to start your shooting practice with a small pistol as the major kicks from the gun won't hurt as much as when using a more significant firearm. With this handgun, you are assured of a smoother transition on to the next shot. It would be best to put your thumb on the rear part of the slide when using long guns or shotguns. One overlooked aspect is the attire worn at the gun range. 

As a beginner, you should desist from wearing outfits that are not proper for a gun shooting practice. Also, you need to note that all firearms are not the same. The method of handling and carrying each firearm varies the mechanical features of each weapon.  Since they are all different, you need to familiarize yourself with the specific gun of your choice. A good example is how most handguns should be carried with a hammer and empty chamber after pulling the safety back. Many handgun manufacturers, for example, recommend that their firearms be carried with the hammer down on an empty barrel. This is especially true for older standard revolvers, but it also holds for any rifles and semi-automatic pistols. Users must always read and refer to the operating manual that came with their firearm, and if you lost it, call the company for a free copy. Keeping a gun on you is a full-time job. You can't guess, and you can't forget. Users must understand how to efficiently use, manage, and store their handguns. Please do not use any fully automatic weapon unless you have a thorough understanding of its specific characteristics as well as safe use. 

How to Shoot a Pistol for Beginners

As a newbie, you should know that there are several startling factors affecting gun shootings. There are several tutorials online on how to shoot a pistol for beginners. These tutorials will help you have a better understanding of handling your firearm and shooting with it. We can never overemphasize the fact that your gun should always be pointed down range or on the target before you trigger pull itl. Hold your pistol below the trigger guard firmly and use your sights to establish a sight picture target. As you aim your gun and quiver it at the center of your target, take a deep breath and pull back the trigger. When the shot breaks, your snap caps will hit right at the center of your target. Your right-hand dominant will help you stabilize your firearm as you take a shot. Shakiness and lack of focus can lead to bad shots, and thus, if depth perception is your goal, you should consider composing yourself and taking a shot with both of your eyes open. As a shooter, the only way to become better is by having as regular training as possible. If you decide to join a gun range, you will have unlimited access to the range and have more time to learn some new skills.  The best part about gun shooting is that both genders can participate. There are also all-women's clubs that you can visit within your community if you wish to boost your confidence in gun handling. Gun ranges provide a platform where both experienced shooters and beginners can interact, thus, it is easy to find new friends who have similar interests and share the same passion. The principles and fundamentals of shooting a gun will soon become part and parcel of you.


Whether you are an experienced shooter or not, handling a gun is a dangerous activity. Therefore, you need always to exercise caution whenever you are firing your weapon. However, if you stick to the rules we have provided in this guide and follow your trainers' instructions, it will prevent you from putting your life and the people around you at risk. As a shooter, you are responsible for every round fired, and thus you need to determine if you will shoot or not. If you decide to shoot, be aware of the target, what is behind it, or beside it. You also don't have to be timid on gun safety matters and always observe and warn anyone who is violating these safety practices while at the range. Of course, safety should be your primary concern, but this shouldn't stop you from having fun while at the range.

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